It’s Time CC

I don’t know CC Sabathia and I understand that this is all part of the negotations, but it is time for him to step up to the plate and either accept the Yankees’ deal or reject it. 

Look around the country today and it is not a pretty picture.  This is a baseball blog so I won’t go into deeper detail, but things are tough out there.  Yet, the Yankees offered Sabathia the richest contract for a pitcher in history almost three weeks ago.  I don’t know what else he needs to make up his mind, but he better come forward and say it because it is pretty hard to understand how $140 million isn’t enough right now.

The problem here is that Sabathia is creating an impression that the only reason he would consider New York is for a paycheck.  Now, I am not naive enough to think that is unusal, most players go where the highest check is, but other players have been better at hiding it.  Look at A-Rod, a guy who has never hiden it and his reputation because of that.  Sabathia doesn’t want to be that guy at the start, but he will be if he doesn’t do something soon.  Of course winning cures a lot of things and Sabathia would erase any feelings like that if he delivered a championship, but would he really want to start off his career with that burden?

Your move CC 

 

Lock-Up

No, I’m not talking about Plaxico Burress, instead I’m talking about the long-term deal Reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia signed today.

According to ESPN’s Peter Gammons, Pedroia agreed to a 6-year, $40.5 million deal.  According to Tony Massarotti of Boston.com/The Boston Globe, here is the breakdown:

$1.5 million signing bonus

2009 – $1.5 million

2010 – $3.5 million

2011 – $5.5 million

2012 – $8.0 million

2013 – $10.0 million

2014 – $10.0 million

2015 – Team option for $11 million or a $500,000 buyout.

As the Globe points out, they essentially bought his first 2 years of free agency at $10.0 million per year and if they exercise his option, they will have bought out his first 3 years of free agency for a total of $31.0 million.

I see this as a win/win for both team and player.  A no-brainer statement to be sure as both sides agreed to it, but it makes Pedroia very wealthy, especially for a second baseman, and provides a stable 6 or 7 years of no negotiation hassle life for him.

For the Red Sox, they just locked up their 25 year old MVP, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.

Good proactive move for the Red Sox.

Hall of Fame Debate

As a result of some comments from another post, we are creating a quick post on the Hall of Fame ballot.  Please share your thoughts.  We’ve copy/pasted the comments onto this post.  Here is the ballot:

Who should be in?  Who shouldn’t even be on the ballot?  Who did steroids?  Will Jim Rice get in on his last year on the ballot?  What on Earth is Jay Bell doing on the ballot*?

Harold Baines

Jay Bell

Bert Blyleven

David Cone

Andre Dawson

Ron Gant

Mark Grace

Rickey Henderson

Tommy John

Don Mattingly

Mark McGwire

Jack Morris

Dale Murphy

Jesse Orosco

Dave Parker

Dan Plesac

Tim Raines

Jim Rice

Lee Smith

Alan Trammell

Greg Vaughn

Mo Vaughn

Matt Williams

 

Also, I wonder if this is the first time 2 cousins have been on the ballot for the first time in the same year, or ever (Mo and Greg Vaughn)?

Somebody?

Amalie Benjamin at the Boston Globe is reporting that the Red Sox offered arbitration to both Jason Varitek (Type A) and Paul Byrd (Type B) but no other arbitration eligible players

Benjamin believes neither player will accept.

I’m not so certain.  I know baseball is somewhat insulated from an economic downturn, what with the long term TV deals, but I have to imagine ownership of most teams has asked management to consider short term deals instead of longer-term deals.  With that in mind, if Bryd doesn’t find a 2-3 year deal, he might just say "yes" to Boston and take a $7.5mm or so 1-year deal and try again next year.

I cannot see Byrd getting anything more than a 2-year deal for $8-9mm total next year, so he just might bite.  Keep in mind he is coming off a 3 year deal (originally a 2-year deal but with a 3rd year option that was exercised) that paid him approx $7mm a season.

As for Varitek, he will not accept arbitration unless he tells his agent Scott Boras to do so.  Boras has, as we all know by now, told people he wants a 3 or 4-year deal in the Jorge Posada tax bracket.  Varitek’s market will really need to fall apart for him to accept arbitration.

To be frank, I think the Red Sox would love it if he said "yes."

Nobody?

The reports are all over the web that the Yankees have decided not to offer arbitration to anyone.  I simply can’t believe that the Yankees really felt Bobby Abreu would accept and now they won’t get any draft picks when he signs elsewhere.  This makes no sense!

And, what was the downside of offering arbitration to Mussina?  Was there really a concern he would accept?

The final lists are still rolling in, but CC and Burnett both were offered so the Yankees will lose draft picks if they sign either one.

 

Tazawa Explained

Tony Massarotti, now with Boston.com, has a good handle on the expected Red Sox signing of Junichi Tazawa.

It is being reported that Tazawa is going to sign a 3-year, $3 million Major League contract with Boston sometime this week, most likely once he’s gone through a team physical.  The question most people have is how will this potentially impact his free agent rights?

Per Maz, "Though Tazawa’s deal is three years in length, the Sox will possess his rights until the player has six years of major league service.  Once Tazawa’s contract expires, he will become subject to the rules of a drafted player, meaning he would be eligible for arbitration in each season after accruing three, four, and five years of service time.  The earliest Tazawa could be eligible for free agency would be in the fall of 2014. For that to happen, he would have to make the 25-man roster next spring and remain with the big club for six seasons."

So even though it is a Major League deal, is seemingly just means they need to make room for him on the 40-man roster.  Am I missing anything?  If service time is required, i.e. actually being on the 25-man roster, then who cares what kind of deal he signed?  It means he gets much more money probably, but aside from that, I don’t get it.

Please chime in on this, just what is the significance of signing a Major League deal aside from the teaming need to clear room on their 40-man?

There is also talk that given Tazawa is a Japanese pitcher, the Professional Leagues in Japan are not happy that the Red Sox and other MLB teams made a bid for him.  There is talk of payback and other fire and brimstone.  Not sure why they are so upset or if they really are, Tazawa wasn’t under any contract and told all the teams he wanted to play in the States.

Other news, Tim Bogar was signed to be the Red Sox first base coach in 2009 and the Red Sox traded for Wes Littleton last week.  Littleton hasn’t done much in the Majors but seems to be able to handle righties fairly well.  So that might be his role should be make the big league team.

I echo what Peter said, please turn on the heat for this year’s Hot Stove.